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Things That Make You Go Hmmm - On The 99th Anniversary Of The Titanic's Sinking...

Tyler Durden's picture


From Grant Williams' Things That Make You Go Hmmm

Just before midnight on this day in 1912 something unthinkable happened to something unsinkable as the Titanic failed to avert its course in time and struck the iceberg that would rip a hole in five of the 16 separate compartments that made up its hull. The 883 foot-long luxury liner had been designed so that it could withstand damage to 4 of the 16 compartments and stay afloat – thereby earning its unsinkable reputation.

The Titanic had left Southampton four days earlier, stopped in Cherbourg in France and then Queenstown in Ireland to pick up passengers before heading out into the North Atlantic en route to New York. Below decks, a drifter named Jack Dawson and his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi had won tickets to the ship in a card game. Dawson spotted society girl Rose DeWitt Bukater, who was on her way to Philadelphia to marry her rich snob fiancé Cal Hockley. Rose felt trapped by her situation and made her way to the aft deck where she contemplated suicide until she was rescued by Jack. Cal was therefore obliged to invite Jack to dine at their first-class table where he suffered through the slights of his snobbish hosts. In return, he spirited Rose off to third class for an evening of dancing, giving her the time of her life. Deciding to forsake her intended future all together, Rose asked Jack, who had made his living making sketches on the streets of Paris, to draw her in the nude wearing the invaluable blue diamond Cal had given her. Cal found out and had Jack locked away….

Hang on a second….

sorry, I think I may be getting my facts a little muddled.

Let’s reset.

The Titanic truly lived up to its name. It was the biggest, most prestigious ship of its day and was set to rule the seas for many years to come. There’s really no point in going into great detail about either the construction features or the tragic set of circumstances that led to the deaths of more than 1,500 poor souls that fateful night as, by now, after 99 years (not to mention a three-hour epic that chronicled the adventures of Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater) the story is woven into the fabric of history. Instead, we shall take a look at some other ‘unsinkable ships’ that struck icebergs of a different kind and sank without trace into murky waters. Some were half-raised years later and others languish still.

Full report (pdf)

Hmmm Apr 14 2011


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Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:34 | 1170789 FunkyMonkeyBoy
FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

If the Bernank was at the pump in the hull of the Titanic it wouldn't have sunk... that guy can, on cue, pump harder and faster than Ron Jeremy.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:09 | 1170859 Hard1
Hard1's picture

Yep, he can do that and more in less than 15 minutes. He is the Chuck Norris equivalent of the financial system. 


-The Bernank doesn't target inflation. He roundhouse-kicks it until it begs for mercy.

-The Bernank dollar buys 3 Canadian dollars, and trades at parity with the euro.

-The Bernank doesn't supply collateral, only collateral damage.

-The tears of The Bernank would supply enough liquidity to solve the credit crisis. Too bad he never cries.

-When the yield on a The Bernank bond goes up, the price also rises.

-The Bernank trades on fear and greed simultaneously.

-Alan Greenspan calls The Bernank ``The Maestro.''

-The Bernank has already banked his dividend payment from Lehman Brothers

-The Bernank Asset Management made 50 percent on its subprime mortgage-backed bond fund in 2008

-The Bernank's curves never invert.

-Net income at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. rose 79 percent in the first quarter; profit at The Bernank Securities Inc. climbed 80 percent.

-There is no market regulator. Just a list of securities The Bernank allows to be traded.

-The Bernank’s iPhone never needs recharging.

-The Bernank doesn't buy gold to hedge against inflation. Gold buys The Bernank to hedge against inflation.

-The Bernank charges the Bank of England a penalty rate for borrowing. And guarantees its deposits.

-The Bernank doesn't mark-to-market. The market marks to The Bernank.

-When the U.S. economy sneezes, the world catches a cold. When The Bernank sneezes, the U.S. economy catches pneumonia.

-When The Bernank makes you a price, it isn't an offer; it's an obligation to buy.

-The Bernank isn't a market maker; he IS the market.

-The Bernank can still get a 125 percent mortgage on a $2 million condo without providing proof of earnings.

-The Bernank subprime collateralized debt obligations still trade at 100 percent of face value.

-The Bernank completed Halo 3 on his Microsoft Corp. Xbox 360 on the day before the computer game went on sale.

-The Bernank has a trade surplus with China.


To give credit to the real author, Taken from a Mark Gilbert piece on Bloomberg in 2007. Replaced Chuck for The Bernank, and removed some that the Fed actually has acomplished (although Greenspan calling him the "Maestro" he accomplished but still worth leaving there). Note that some Mr. Gilbert's  jokes aren´t even funny for the the Bernank as he is even more powerful than Chuck:

-Chuck Norris doesn't borrow at the Fed's discount window. Chuck Norris LENDS at the Fed's discount window.

or even worse than the joke:

-Chuck Norris funds at Libor flat.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:00 | 1170968 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

good tag-team y'all - Ned

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:24 | 1171004 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

good so now we know Benny the Bean "controls the economy" and know he made the stock markets drop -5% ...yes Benny wishes them up and like Pavlovs Dog the stockbrokers and investors bark enthusiastically and drip at the lip and pile in.

I'm not sure how Benny signalled the recent stock sell-off (maybe 'Fed believers' here can post when Benny whistled)?

And if we drop another -5% as looks likely someone tell me how Ben signalled that drop too please?

Of course the Feds PR agent has put about if the market corrects it's what Benny really wanted to 'prime the market'. According to Fed believers Ben wants the wealth effect but according to the spin Ben wants the market to go down too, presumably to get a poverty effect.

So Ben's not only pulling the markets strings but also everyones heart strings, he controls human emotions as well as the economy!!

Ben is God then according to his believers... or the Fed believers are delusional thought of that?


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 22:07 | 1171095 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Hey, I would just settle for Obama explaining the last episode of Lost. I mean, really, people, how am I supposed to drink an understand shit like that at the same time?!?

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:32 | 1170794 NOTW777
Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:33 | 1170800 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

You don't tax the rich. The rich tax you. What about this DON"T PEOPLE GET.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:09 | 1170879 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

Two different definitions of "rich", the poor man's and the rich man's.  The poor man's definition will fit anyone who appears better off.  The rich man, well, he can find the definition in the mirror.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:31 | 1170801 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

remember obiden or "joe" as obama calls him is watching over every penny of stimulus $

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:34 | 1170804 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

LOL. How about the Air Traffic Controllers. I need a job there to sleep. Ray Lahood said that he will not sleep till he solves the problem. I guess he should go and work as a Air Traffic Controller. F the Bitches.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:19 | 1170999 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Why should Air Traffic Controllers be held to a higher standard than all other govt. workers?

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:35 | 1170805 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Other things that make you go hmmmm

-Google shares after hours

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:42 | 1170825 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

547 with a flash up to 579ish??

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:44 | 1170827 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

What you did there, I saw it.

You just pulled a Liesman.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:54 | 1170857 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

say what. liesman doesnt read charts.  look at the flashcrashup gyrations

546ish now

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:38 | 1170809 EvlTheCat
EvlTheCat's picture

All I saw was the picture of Joe Biden and the word "stroke" in the summary and my hope and change leaped in excitement.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:38 | 1170810 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

On the plus side, Obama's newest new deficit commission is gonna be headed up by old sleepy Sheriff Joe Biden.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:40 | 1170817 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Obummer = any way the wind blows.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:43 | 1170819 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

another non-partisan government servant just doing his job and saving the economy

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:51 | 1170851 gunsmoke011
gunsmoke011's picture

That Little tax Cheating Pip Squeek makes me absolutely want to go postal every time I see him or here about anything he has done. Talk about a silver spoon fed waste of skin.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:55 | 1170855 gunsmoke011
gunsmoke011's picture

And hear too

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:01 | 1170862 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

He didn't cheat on his taxes he just couldn't figure out how to use the Turbo Tax software. A promotion to U.S Treausury Sec. was clearly the only logical choice for Obama.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:30 | 1171017 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

he couldn't figure out how to do his Tax and can't figure out how to do a sustainable budget either this the best 'talent' America can find for its crones?

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:48 | 1170836 gunsmoke011
gunsmoke011's picture

Yeah – AND – you have to be even more filled with confidence knowing that Biden will be the guy who will be in charge of overseeing much of what the President outlined.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:49 | 1170839 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like Ronald Reagan. Nobama 2012 ...

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:50 | 1170840 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Rule of sales:

The better looking you are, the smoother talker you are, the more you get away by lying and less you have to deliver in terms of real value.

Politicians sell their looks, public speaking abilities, and promises which are all superficial qualifiers to position of power.

90% of African Americans have been "served" by this half white uncle Tom.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 19:50 | 1170847 Just Observing
Just Observing's picture

Hey NOW.....don't be picking on Joe Biden.  I finally found common ground with him, as I think taking a nap is the perfect use of time while the "Yes-man" reads the teleprompter.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:02 | 1170869 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Joe FREAKING Biden! (Featuring Rainman)


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:04 | 1170872 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Titanic proves that there is no reason to worship the rich ever. They are a lesser human being than you are but perhaps just luckier. They are rich because they own your labor.





Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:41 | 1170939 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

Or because they worked harder.

Or because they saved and accumulated.

Or because they are criminals.

Or because .....

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:06 | 1170975 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

I meant rich as in rich enough to buy political power, rich enough to never work again, rich enough to not only control your life but others as know the billionares.

How many become billionares because they saved and worked harder? When you are born penniless, you can save and work to provide yourself a nice retirement and fund your kids college, but more than that involves one of the following in addition to hard work and savings: cheating, luck, connections (parents), inheritance (parents).

In fact, can you even name one out of 1000 richest Americans who didn't have one or more of the above non-merit qualifications?

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:23 | 1171006 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

You guys are arguing details without looking at the big picture of insanity

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 23:33 | 1171332 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture

"In fact, can you even name one out of 1000 richest Americans who didn't have one or more of the above non-merit qualifications?"

Okay, here's a start:

Andrew Carnegie

Steve Jobs

Ralph Lauren

James Cayne

Bill Gates

Guy Laliberté

J.K Rowling

Oprah Winfrey

Micky Jagtiani

Larry Ellison

Leonardo Del Vecchio

John Paul DeJoria

Roman Abromavich

Sheldon Adelson


"Almost two-thirds of the world's 946 billionaires made their fortunes from scratch, relying on grit and determination, and not good genes"

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:14 | 1170893 red_pill_rash
red_pill_rash's picture

Hmmmmm, it sure was convenient that a lot of the opposition to the federal reserve was on that boat,



Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:24 | 1170910 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

I see no mention of rainbows or pots of gold.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:27 | 1170918 boeing747
boeing747's picture

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:37 | 1170933 Lord Welligton
Lord Welligton's picture

"ride a unicorn across the White House Lawn and explain the final episode of Lost."

OK. I'm sold.

If he can do that he's got my vote.

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 06:17 | 1171658 tonyw
tonyw's picture

ride a unicorn, no problem m'lord, in the Land of elves and fairies, with unicorns grazing in the pastures, tended to by members of the Texas Communist Party it's a regular thang.

explain the final episode of Lost - i'm glad to say i haven't seen any episodes:-)

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 08:55 | 1171915 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

The final episode of Lost is comparable (imho) to the old dream episode from DALLAS back in the 80s when Pam "woke up" and Bobby was alive in the shower.


The Lost finale was the opposite, where we learn that the survivors had all died along the way and were residing in a type of dream world created by Hurley.


Or something completely different.  

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:48 | 1170934 mynhair
mynhair's picture

Bama and Byteme on the Titanic.

Then we are stuck with a Boner that lasts longer than 4 hours.

I give up.

What's up with the B's?

Bernanke, Blythe, OMG!  What's Larry Summers middle name?

Total Scroomage.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:50 | 1170953 francis_sawyer
Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:54 | 1170958 mynhair
mynhair's picture

Where dem white women at?

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:54 | 1170959 boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

All that and he still can't produce a birth certificate!

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 23:27 | 1171317 ThePhysicist
ThePhysicist's picture

His Kenyan birth certificate is available online...


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 20:56 | 1170962 honestann
honestann's picture


Civilization is a stream with banks.

Civilization would be a fabulous raging pristine river through paradise without banks!

End [central] banks.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:13 | 1170988 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Civilization is that town situated in the lower valley.

Banks are the damns controlling the water flow.

Sometimes towns are flooded, sometimes not enough water for the farm. But banks always have money.

That my friend is "trickle down". No rain, just damns with 100% control over your water.

Now, the damn is holding toxic water in the reservor.


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:00 | 1170967 israhole
israhole's picture

Should read "At a stroke, Obama offered to tax the rich, cut the military budget and yet never accept a cut that would “compromise our ability to defend Israel or Israel's interests around the world”


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:08 | 1170977 mynhair
mynhair's picture

"Should read "At a stroke, Obama offered to tax the rich, cut the military budget and yet never accept a cut that would “compromise our ability to defend Israel or Israel's interests around the world”"


Should be:

Should read "At a stroke, Obama offered to tax the rich, cut the military budget and yet never accept a cut that would “compromise our ability to feed the stupid Sheeple that voted for me”

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:12 | 1170986 tawdzilla
tawdzilla's picture

Joe Biden was dreaming that he was selected as VP under Socialist Obama to destroy capitalism and implement a new world order...then he woke up only to find it wasn't a dream.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:13 | 1170990 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Obama have guaranteed that no black man (100% black) will ever become the president in US.


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 23:32 | 1171327 ThePhysicist
ThePhysicist's picture

I'm pretty sure it's the White half thats a leftwing socialist bent on destroying the capitalist system.

The Black half just wants to shoot some hoops.


Fri, 04/15/2011 - 00:10 | 1171396 sherryw
sherryw's picture

Best laugh all day!!

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:17 | 1170993 Kat
Kat's picture

Our countrymen have elected an incompetent boob (along with his even less competent side-kick).

Next year they will have another shot at it and will hopefully elect a slightly less incompetent boob.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:27 | 1171009 bjennings
bjennings's picture

Things that make you go hmmm?  Things that make me go hmmm is this article and lack of response from all you smart people that contribute to Zero Hedge and respond to.  The article seems to be saying (and you all seem to be agreeing) that it's not possible to cut healthcare costs and improve quality of care.  You all have been brainwashed into thinking that there is an exact correlation between dollars spent and quality of care.  I'm sorry I gave you all more credit than this.  Well, just an FYI -- it is completely possible to cut healthcare costs and improve quality of care at the same time but most people in this country seem to be too hung up on the idea that freedom means our God given for someone to sell crap and for someone else to buy it.  Other countries have succeeded in higher quality medical outcomes and spent less doing it.  Let me put it another way;  Did Makena get 1000 times more effective when KV Pharma acquired the exclusive distribution rights and up the price 1000 times or is it still basically the same drug that it was at $15 vs. the new $1,500.

Ah anyway, I thought people here would be smart enough to recognize the inefficiencies that currently exist in our healthcare system and that it might be possible to reduce cost and improve quality by eliminating some of the inefficiencies that exist.

On another note you know what U.S. Generals say is the number one obstacle to recruiting good soldiers?  It's obesity.  They say most of our citizens are just too damm fat to make good soldiers.  But I know doing anything about it (even if just raising awareness) might be confused as impeding our god given right to eat as many Big Macs as we can on a daily basis.


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:41 | 1171036 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

BJ, if i may call you that, why are you complaining about obesity being an impediment to entering the army? gives you a choice between dying of cholesterol at 68 or dying at 28 on some piece of foreign dirt with a people you have no beef with for a purpose not acheived in 8 years of occupation for a war driven by literal phsycopaths who are more retarded than the 'enemy' you're supposed to shoot

...i choose burgers

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 01:26 | 1171500 bjennings
bjennings's picture

In that context I choose burgers as well, absolutely.  Just wanted to make the point that in a very short relative period of time we have become a nation of fat asses and if for nothing else we then sit around and wonder why our healthcare bill is so high.  I'm not that articulate and don't really care to be on the subject except to say that I often times feel like we (citizens) are caught in a squeeze between a corporations right to sell us poison to eat and the notion that "Hey, it's ok.  We'll find a pill to treat any condition that poison creates."  Does it not suprise anyone that when our corporations sell us poison to eat and get FDA approval to label it as healthy resulting in 1 in 3 children born after 2000 will develop diabetes and then we bitch and moan about our healthcare bill.  If you tried to tell some fat 50 something tea bagger that his/her daily diet of 50% or more corn product might not be healthy you would immediately be labeled a pinko commie bastard trying to infringe on their rights.  I get so pissed about the topic I can't even write straight.

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 09:06 | 1171953 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

US hospitals are overwhelmed by those that flood into it and overrun its resources.

Addicts come into the ER with whatever madeup aliment and take time and resources from the hospital.

Some come into the ER with whatever madeup aliment hoping to get food and a place to stay.

Others won't leave or come back as soon as they are discharged.

Finally, those that used to be housed in mental asylums now show up at hospitals when their families can't deal with them anymore.


Nothing changes until we start denying physical access to the ER for those listed above.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 22:04 | 1171084 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Other countries have succeeded in higher quality medical outcomes and spent less doing it."

Like the UK?

"But I know doing anything about it (even if just raising awareness) might be confused as impeding our god given right to eat as many Big Macs as we can on a daily basis."

Who am I hurting if I eat 20 Big Macs in one sitting?...and what is your position on euthanasia?

I thought so.

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 00:12 | 1171398 dugorama
dugorama's picture

No, not the UK.  But all the rest of western Europe, yes.  Go ahead, pick any norther western European country.  They have better health care outcomes than we do and spend significantly less doing it.  And they have older populations.  I'd still rather live here.  But we don't have better health care.  Not even close to t


he same, actually.


The New England Jrnl Medicine: we rank 37th:

"t is hard to ignore that in 2006, the United States was number 1 in terms of health care spending per capita but ranked 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortality, and 36th for life expectancy.3"


WHO's rankings:'s_ranking_of_health_care_systems

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 06:31 | 1171667 nmewn
nmewn's picture

You are free to pick and choose whatever statistics you like...but the underlying premise of your post is false as it has to do with quality of care which we already know is excellent.

The king of Saudi Arabia & Canadian governors wouldn't be coming here if it well as a certain Greek public sector pension fund shill who posts ZH articles regularly...who shall go un-named by me ;-) 

During the debate over ObamaCare (such as it was...really it was not a debate at all, just a one size fits all government mandated cram down) the UK's system was held out as a it is not...why is that?

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 01:41 | 1171524 bjennings
bjennings's picture

You're hurting me dude.  If it effects my healthcare premium, it hurts me.  I don't really pretend to understand your euthanasia comment.  If you're referring to the standard astro-turf tea bagger line to reforming healthcare than let me ask you a question.  Would you rather be prescribed euthanasia by your insurance carrier or your government?  Either way there is an entity standing between you and your doctor.

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 06:04 | 1171655 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"You're hurting me dude. If it effects my healthcare premium, it hurts me."

So, as I suspected, you really don't give a shit about anyone's health.

Whether they are "obese" or not is not a "health issue" for you, it's a monetary one...which would make your entire first post don't care if anyone lives or dies as long as your premium doesn't go up.

"Would you rather be prescribed euthanasia by your insurance carrier or your government?  Either way there is an entity standing between you and your doctor."


And you didn't "pretend" to understand my euthanasia question for a reason, because you answered it in your very next do support it.

Insurers pay for some or all services on your behalf, they don't prescribe or render them.

Typical socialist horseshit...feigning compassion to advance crony captalism & statism...there are a thousand ways to live & die and you guys believe you know the proper way to do it and are prepared to use the power of the government to enforce your view.

Get the fuck out of my kitchen, my bedroom, my wallet and my life!

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 01:39 | 1171517 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Viable solutions exist, they just don't involve expanding the size of the Leviathan Govt:


Here are seven things that a good attempt at Health Insurance reform should do:

1. Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.  Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax-deductible (for the Employer, that is!), but individual health insurance is not (So sorry, middle-class, wage-slave!).

2. Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able to use that insurance wherever we live. With no real competition in CA, is it any wonder that Blue Cross can raise their rates around 39%?

3. Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.  These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars.  What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying. Why should a single man have to pay extra for OB-Gyn coverage, for example?

4. Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Perhaps then Doctors can go back to ordering medical tests when they're necessary and not just to cover their @ss, when dealing with some lawsuit-happy patient!

5. Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health care treatments cost. Ever see a price list in a Doctor's office? Neither have I, yet we're expected to pay $?? whenever we get an appointment!

6. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and RESONSIBILITY. Too many people (especially their children!) order Doctors to "Spare No Expense" when it comes to saving granny's life, even though she's been bed-ridden and on a ventilator for the last year.  With no Quality of life, just what are these people trying to save?

7. Revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax deductible donation to help millions of people who have no insurance.  In Minnesota, we can volunteer to spend some extra tax for a Wildlife fund, why not a "People's Health Fund?"


Notice how health care affordability was not an issue until the Govt enacted Medicare/Medicaid?

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 03:20 | 1171595 bjennings
bjennings's picture

I appreciate your lenghty response but basically most of it is just horse shit.  I guess I'll comment point by point.

1.  I like this one.  Nothing wrong with that however, employer sponsored healthcare is also tax deductible for the employee as well (cafeteria plans/POP 125's).

2.  Allow insurance companies to compete across state lines -- That sounds fine in theory but don't we already have an example of this argument being played out (credit cards) and how has that theory been working there?  All that succeeded in was a race to the bottom of state regulations resulting in most credit card companies being domiciled in one of two states.  Doesn't seem like it worked to well the first time we tried that.

3.  My question would be how do you determine specifically what is OB/GYN coverage vs. what is not?  In other words if you choose not to cover thyroid conditions and so forego any treatment and that thyroid condition later results in a heart condition which you choose to have coverage for, do you discuss with your physician and decide that you should wait until your heart attack or pay out of pocket?  Or vica versa.  What if you decide you want coverage for anything thyroid related and under insurance covered treatment your thyroid condition goes un-detected, would you before covered.  I'm just not certain how you can implement something like that and suspect that any talk of repealing mandates of coverage opens the door for just another type of inflation -- paying the same for less so that Bernanke can say inflation is in check.

4.  Tort reform -- my favorite tea bagger argument.  In other words.  Let's screw them some and then some more and then let's limit their ability to seek restitution.  I suspect if the healthcare/insurance industry was an honest one there would be far fewer lawyers chomping at the bit to get in on the action.  In other words if there was an industry running lean and efficient with a fair margin, there wouldn't be so much fat for the lawyers to go after but because healthcare/insurance is such an inefficient/corrupt industry there is a lot of fat/margins for the lawyers to siphon/extort out of it.  I agree there are probably many abuses in the malpractice side of things but limiting patients rights is not the solution.

5. Costs are fairly transparent.  You know what CPT codes are?  I think what you are talking about comes more from the fact that it is a 3rd party payor system -- that is the 1st party (medical providers) charges, the 2nd party (the patient) doesn't scrutinize, and the 3rd party (insurers) pay.  Because the 2nd party doesn't scrutinize as he/she should the medical providers are free to game the system.  This is done in many ways.  For example you go to the doc for an ear ache.  It is your first visit so you have a comrpehensive check up.  You go back 3 weeks later for follow up visit.  Often times docs will code that follow up as a comprehensive visit which earns them three times what a follow up visit would get.  Or you have blood drawn once and have eight tests performed.  Often times the clinic will code it in such a way as to let the insurer believe blood was drawn eight times.  Or you have CPT's for a bundle of procedures (eg. delivery of a baby -- about seven different procedures/CPT codes).  Often there is one CPT code encompassing all procedures but providers will list the individual CPT codes separate/a la carte resulting in a higher bill to the patient/insurer.  There is software out there to help catch these practices but there are infinite ways providers game the system and impossible to catch them all.  Sort of related -- how come the Mayo Clinic is consistently ranked as on of, if not, the best medical providers in the country and yet there docs are paid a flat salary and are happy to recieve it.

6. Your comments on Medicaid/Medicare is just a pile of horseshit.  Sorry -- reform it to create greater "patient empowerment?"  I suppose your version of patient empowerment would be to just cut them off and kick them to the curb.  First off, these are benefits that folks have paid into.  I know I have my entire working career.  Perhaps if gov'ts hadn't misappropriated funds there would be funds there to cover.  Perhaps if some politican didn't get paid off by some provider to offer a $6,000 hub around (or whatever you call  those stupid motorized carts that fat people get to ride around in) fully paid by medicare when a person can go out and buy one brand new for $2,000, the system might not be going bankrupt.  You're talking about people who have been responsible their whole lives and once there useful life is over you want to stiff them.  You want them to be responsible like say the banks have been responsible?  No, your solution is just to renig on a deal because you  already gave the money away to someone else.  You think medicare is a cakewalk?  I can  give example after example where medicare already doesn't cover basic medical needs and besides, medicare/aid isn't even operated by the gov't.  It is usually outsourced -- something like outsourcing bank regulation to Goldman Sachs.  Medicare reform is just another way of saying we didn't manage funds properly and are not now in a position to pay the aging baby boomer population so we are looking for a way out of our promise.

7.  This is a favorite one of mine as well.  What you describe is fiefdom.  What you describe is a transfer of power from a Republic to the lords and vassals.  That is "I want people eating out of my hand.  I have more power over them that way."  Basically, more horseshit.

And your final comment about affordability of healthcare being linked to Medicare and Medicaid is also horseshit.  The affordability of healthcare really kicked into high gear as an issue in the last ten years.  In the nineties there was the threat of managed care and healthcare reform keeping insurers/providers in check.  As soon as those threats were removed it was a green light.  I wrote the company checks for 16% premium increases in each of 2001,02, and 03 and there have been something like double digit increases in 10 of the last 11 years.  If you want to go further back then that I would have to say the employer mandate did more harm than anything.  Didn't it have the same effect on healthcare costs that QE1thru99 is having on commodity prices?  Isn't this current healthcare reform just an extension of the employer mandate by allowing insurers to capture the other 30% not covered under the current employer mandate?

I am a capitalist but I no longer try to think that everything has to be crammed through a capitalist model.  There are some things that just don't fit.  Healthcare is a tax -- a cost center and is being run like a profit center where quality of care is second to profits.  There is too much supplier power in the model in the form of knowledge of the services being provided.  With healthcare costs as they are today someone has to scrutinize costs to begin to effectively manage them.  Insurers don't scrutinize costs.  It is too easy for them to just pass the costs through to next years premiums.  I have no problem calling myself a capitalist and also saying the government should be the single payor of healthcare.  What difference does it make if you pay 30% in taxes and 17% in healthcare premiums or 47% in taxes.  At least this way with gov't being squeezed with on the one end by limited tax revenues they would be incented to scrutinize the bill or maybe even encourage preventative maintenance (i.e. exercise, diet, etc..).  Another radical approach would be to do away with the employer mandate, do away with all but catastrophic health insurance.   Much like what easy financing contributed to the housing bubble I think the employer mandate did for healthcare costs.  Do you think if you had to pay as you go, you would get charged $100,000 for a four day visit to the hospital?  Probably not.  The money just wouldn't be there.  But you can't do away with insurance coverage for a certain subset of the public while the majority of the public was required to participate allowing overinflated costs.  Some of this sounds contradictory but it's not.  Basically, I just disagree with most of your solutions as they seem to be tea bagger regurgitations which translate to nothing more than "Let's keep the same old system in place, tweek it a bit to maximize profits and profit security to ourselves, and figure out away to kick out of the system those participants that might be less profitable to us."




Fri, 04/15/2011 - 06:46 | 1171673 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Your comments on Medicaid/Medicare is just a pile of horseshit."

"IBM offered  a plan to save taxpayers $900 billion dollars wasted in fraud in the health care system - free.  Incredibly, it was an offer the White House felt they could afford to refuse."

What more needs to be said?

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 03:40 | 1171607 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

1.  Blah

2.  Blah, blah

3.  Blah, blah, blah

Bless you for trying but we are past the point where any of this crap means anything.

"Sold down the river".

The U.S. citizen and family has been sold out.

Left, right...doesn't matter.


Your heart, mind, ideas, and good intentions are simply wood for the fire of obfuscation, delay, and equivocation that bleeds us all out a little at a time - feeding the top 2% and the bottom.


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 21:32 | 1171018 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Joe (Amtrak) Biden.

This one never get's old...stand up Chuck!...LOL.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 22:13 | 1171112 Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

We need W Banzai to come up with some special Biden pictures after falling alseep yesterday

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 22:23 | 1171150 Fiat Money
Fiat Money's picture

"Things That Make You Go Hmmm - On The 99th Anniversary Of The Titanic's Sinking..."

  F*** the f***ing Titanic !! 

   We  ("civilized" humans)  are fast coming up on the 100 year anniversary of the "Great War", aka the  "kill 'em by the millions in the mud & trenches"  WWI.   The war all the "experts" thought would never happen... the war "all the experts" thought would be over in a week, 2 months, tops.     Yep,  today we "westerners" are steam-rolling along towards our rendezvous with destiny,  we are every bit as imperial, arrogant, entitled, self-righteous, chauvinistic, and (avowedly) devoted to the "moral values" of "god, duty, honor, king, & country"  as all the cannon- & machine-gun fodder troops of 1914 - 1918 (and beyond) were.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 22:25 | 1171152 SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

Frigin classic.  He knows it's all bullshit, so why pay attention. 

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 22:41 | 1171209 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

Biden wasn't sleeping...he was calculating how many Kilos of Gold Bars he has tucked away in his off shore accounts somewhere....

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 23:09 | 1171277 monopoly
monopoly's picture

Tyler, enjoy the new addition to Zero Hedge. Thank you.

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 23:36 | 1171340 Inbetween is pain
Inbetween is pain's picture

How come these reports always have a problem with the appearnce of the type?

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 02:09 | 1171552 TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture

The colonies actually paid some the lowest amounts of taxes of all the Britain domains prior and at the time of the revolution. It was the representation aspect which caused anger.

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 08:41 | 1171856 White.Star.Line
White.Star.Line's picture

The White Star Line does not appreciate correlating current economic conditions to the demise of one of our great steamers

1) JP Morgan owned the Titanic and has absolutely nothing to do with todays economic troubles

2) The rich were spared from drowning, with lifeboats assigned, unlike the losses they suffer today

3) The "lower-class" passengers were locked below for their own safety, unlike today where everyone has the same economic opportunities

4) Once the iceberg ripped through the ship, those below suffered the most, as passengers above barely noticed. Contrast that to today, where everyone is sharing the pain equally.

A Greenspun
Orchestral Maestro
SS Titanic

Sat, 04/16/2011 - 03:22 | 1175451 CitizenPete
CitizenPete's picture

May God save the Republic.


and tiny Tim too.

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